Discover your dream Career
For Recruiters

If you were hired into a banking job in 2021, you may be a little mediocre

As banks cast around for additional costs to cut in the absence of a big rebound in revenues, a particular kind of person is at the top of their chopping lists: the one who was hired at the height of the pandemic. 

Get Morning Coffee  in your inbox. Sign up here.

Insiders say standards were dropped as banks rushed to fill seats during the pandemic boom. Now that fewer staff are needed, those pandemic recruits are the first to be let go again. 

"In 2021 they added a tonne of people to work on execution," says one senior associate in M&A at a US investment bank. "There were a lot of ad hoc hires who came during the peak who've turned out not to be very good. These are the people we've thrown out first."

The allegation that pandemic hires were weak comes after private equity firms have been complaining that the juniors hires and trained in 2021 aren't able to complete their assessments. "People's technical skills simply aren't as well-developed. They don't do as well on financial modelling tests as a result," said US recruiter Anthony Keizner last year. Pandemic hires are more likely to use modelling templates, said another recruiter; they're less able to build models of their own.

Banks aren't the only ones with an issue. Consulting firm McKinsey & Co. also went on a hiring spree during the pandemic. Like banks, McKinsey hiked pay, with MBA pay at the firm going from $175k to $190k over the period. Now, the firm is being forced to cut back again. “I do think that the firm has been harsher with ratings and feedback, but it probably is more of a return to the mean," one partner told the Times. "Hiring standards were probably a bit more lax because [managers] wanted to get people through the door [during the recruitment boom].”

As banks cull pandemic hires, junior bankers are being cut everywhere from Citi to Rothschild. In the US, however, one associate said there's no need to enforce cuts. Most juniors in the US are hired on two year contracts and these are simply not being renewed. "We're just rolling people off through contract non-renewals," he says. "We have a new class of hires coming this summer anyway."

 Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: sbutcher@efinancialcareers.com in the first instance. Whatsapp/Signal/Telegram also available (Telegram: @SarahButcher)

Bear with us if you leave a comment at the bottom of this article: all our comments are moderated by human beings. Sometimes these humans might be asleep, or away from their desks, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. Eventually it will – unless it’s offensive or libelous (in which case it won't).

Photo by Oziel Gómez on Unsplash

author-card-avatar
AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

Sign up to Morning Coffee!

Coffee mug

The essential daily roundup of news and analysis read by everyone from senior bankers and traders to new recruits.

Boost your career

Find thousands of job opportunities by signing up to eFinancialCareers today.
Recommended Articles
Recommended Jobs
Goodman Masson
VP - sell side M&A
Goodman Masson
London, United Kingdom
Charterhouse
Investment Director
Charterhouse
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Paritas Recruitment - Data & Tech
Quantitative Researcher (Systematic Fund)
Paritas Recruitment - Data & Tech
London, United Kingdom
Goodman Masson
Director, Renewables and Energy M&A - leading team
Goodman Masson
London, United Kingdom

Sign up to Morning Coffee!

Coffee mug

The essential daily roundup of news and analysis read by everyone from senior bankers and traders to new recruits.